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Ban Chocolate Milk in Schools?
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Olivia_WebMD_Staff posted:
School officials in Decatur, GA, have proposed banning chocolate milk for grades K - 3 in their school system.

Some parents are up in arms about the prospect.

Here is some information that may be helpful as you debate the pros and cons of children consuming chocolate milk as a part of school lunch:

Healthy Eating for Children

Kid Nutrition Basics for Parents

What do you think...are you for or against chocolate milk in schools?
Reply
 
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1nt3rnalc0mbu5t1on responded:
One question...have they already banned soda's in the schools? potato chips? icecream bars? If they are going to boot chocolate milk but still allow the students to drink soda or eat chips and icecream, then this is a horrible idea. matter of fact its a bad idea all the way around. when i was in school we got an 8oz portion of chocolate milk, i dont know what the serving size is now. If they are worried about over consumption, then limit the amount they can get. a lot of kids dont like the taste of white milk, so should they just go with out calcium? or the protein that is in milk? I agree that the lunch menu's need to have healthier options, but many schools cannot afford that type of menu. Here is a novel idea, dont cut phys. ed. from the curriculum, let them run around for 45 minutes to an hour and burn a few calories. cutting chocolate milk isnt going to get anything accomplished.
 
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fcl responded:
Before I continue, I need to say that all I know about this is what I have read in the article given above. The situation is entirely different in my country which is why I am so surprised. OK, read on ...

I'm appalled at what they're giving children to eat and drink. Waffles? Muffins? Chocolate milk? Get rid of the chocolate milk and devise balanced meals for children. And forget about the calorie limitation - children don't need that if they're eating a healthy meal. A muffin and a glass of milk must come pretty close to the limit anyway. No wonder the kids are starving. How do they manage to stay awake in the afternoon?

The meals at our school are designed to include:

I animal protein
1 raw veg
1 cooked veg
1 carb
1 dairy
1 fruit

Sometimes the groups are combined (dairy fruit = fruit yoghurt), sometimes they are balanced out over the week. There are never any processed foods. Produce is bought locally (loses fewer vitamins and costs less in transport). The menus are drawn up by the staff with the aid of a nutritionist.

If a parent chooses to give their child chocolate milk or whatever they can do it after school.
 
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fcl replied to 1nt3rnalc0mbu5t1on's response:
" I agree that the lunch menu's need to have healthier options, but many schools cannot afford that type of menu."

In that case, why not subcontract to a central kitchen for all the local schools who CAN? Or perhaps use an outside caterer?
 
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3point14 responded:
I don't understand why any parent who was upset over this couldn't just comply with the rules of school and give their kid some chocolate milk at home?
 
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EricE_MA responded:
The Patch article about Decatur is missing important information, some of which was fortunately brought up by a commenter.

The majority of the article showed the concern about chocolate milk in the context of "not enough calories" and based on one non-professional's observation that one "meal" was around 200 Calories.

However, school lunches are regulated. A commenter provided the regulations. The key point in the regulations is that school lunches for grades K-5 have to provide ~600 Calories. When that is understood, the remaining points made by parents interviewed for the article are moot. If the school was in fact not offering ~600 Calories meals, they would not pass inspection and lose funding for the meals.

It may be that the child only chose to eat certain of the foods that were offered. But the best choice for the child is not to make up the difference with sugar just to get the calories. The parent needs to instill in the child the importance of eating a variety of foods. The school needs to make sure that the foods offered are palatable. But not by just offering high sugar foods.

With regard to concerns "why chocolate milk and not other changes to the food." I have observed many school lunch transformations. I have never seen chocolate milk singled out and I am sure that was not the case in this school. By the time schools decide to phase out chocolate milk, they have already made many transformations. Removing chocolate (or other flavored) milk is consistently one of the last steps in lunch transformations. Things like soda, even juice, and other low nutrition items always precede chocolate milk.

With regard to an earlier comment "Here is a novel idea, dont cut phys. ed.": The school wellness policy includes phys ed in the schools. So, that is already happening.

The article was an opinion piece (low journalistic standards), not an expose, and requested responses without setting adequate context for people to make a meaningful judgement.

A good resource for finding out what is happening in your state can be found at take.actionforhealthykids.org. (With some effort - it is not the easiest to navigate.) The context in which the Decatur schools were transforming food, nutrition, and physical activity can be found in GA specific documents on their web site available here:
http://take.actionforhealthykids.org/site/Clubs?club_id=1110&pg=docs
 
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yukaliptus responded:
aww really if its that bad for them then yes
 
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milkshake responded:
yes am against it, a friend of mine a nutritionist he said that the chocolate will not let the stomach to absorb calcium


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